One of the rock world’s hardest-touring bands is headed our way. 3 Doors Down, the US rock band who have scored hits with songs such as Here WithoutYou and Kryptonite will play the Emirates Airline Dubai International Jazz Festival in Dubai next February 15. The Mississippi-bred quintet are the second act to be announced for the festival, joining legendary British rock band Deep Purple on the line-up of next year’s festival, which in its 11th edition has a distinctly rock-heavy line-up.
“We have the best fans in the world and the best part of doing what we do is going out and performing for them,” Brad Arnold, the band’s frontman and songwriter told tabloid! on Monday. It’s the second time to Dubai for the band, who played the Dubai Desert Rock Festival in 2006. “One of my most memorable bands to perform with was in Dubai when we got to play with Megadeth,” said Arnold of that concert. The band are currently on tour in the US with Chris Daughtry, who performed in Dubai last month. “Chris did mention Dubai. We were just talking about it the other day. He said he loved it!”
3 Doors Down formed in 1996 in a small town in America’s Deep South, and found fame the traditional way: they wrote a song (Kryptonite), got it playing on local radio, listeners liked it and it spread across the country through radio requests. But not everything was perfect — at a gig at New York’s legendary club CBGB “they were pretty bad,” said one record label head.
Nonetheless, Arnold (on drums), original guitarist Matt Roberts (who left the band due to health reasons in May this year), guitarist Chris Henderson and bassist Todd Harrell found themselves with a hit on their hands.
Kryptonite went to No 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000, the beginning a career that would see them sell more than 16 million albums worldwide, with The Better Life, their first album, now certified six times platinum. When Billboard in October made a list of the top 100 songs over the past 20 years (based on radio airplay), 3 Doors Down had two tracks in the top 25 (Here Without You at No 8 and Kryptonite at No 25). When it comes to playing those hits, the band prefers it live, playing around 300 dates a year on tour.
“That’s the way it’s been since the beginning. We are a hard working band,” guitarist Chris Henderson says. “Exhausting is a way to sum it up in one word. But you get used to the touring cycle and the way of life. In the summer I’ll bring my kids with me.”
“We love to tour because it lets us connect personally with our fans,” says Arnold. “The best thing about being on the road is being able to play for our fans across the world. We see so many amazing things while out touring the US and abroad. I have brought my wife Jen and our dog Harley out in the past, it’s great to have them out … it lets me bring a piece of home out with me.”
Now, 16 years after getting together, they’re in greatest hits territory, releasing The Greatest Hits on November 19. “We felt like it was time to put out a greatest hits package because it marks a chapter in our history,” said Arnold, when asked if it was a decision by the band or their bank manager. “We look forward to making many more records in the future.”
The album features three new songs alongside nine hits, and guitarist Henderson told tabloid!, “it was a vehicle to release some new music,” adding it was a decision taken by the band as a group. “It was a conversation that the band had, we thought, we’ve got all these songs, we could do a greatest hits record right now. But let’s write a couple of new ones, let’s test the market and see how fans respond.”
“I think that there’s a lot of luck involved,” in the band’s continuing success, adds Henderson, “and a lot of honesty among the guys in the band. Everyone has to get along for something like this to happen. That doesn’t always happen, people don’t always agree, and I think the way we solve our issues is the reason we are still together.”
Excerpts from the interview:
Does 3DD have any pre-show rituals?
Arnold: Everyone gets into a huddle, we say a few words and then head onto stage!
What can we expect from a 3DD show?
Henderson: A lot of energy. I think people may be surprised by how we are live. When people see us live for the first time they are “woah, I didn’t think you rocked like that”.
So, any jazz?
Henderson: No, we’re a rock’n’roll band. That’s what you’re gonna get.
Also on the line-up at the jazz festival is Deep Purple. Thoughts?
Arnold: We have never played with Deep Purple but they are legendary in America.
What has been your favourite place to perform?
Arnold: I think one of my favourite places to play based on the crowd is Brazil. The crowds there are amazing!
Do you write music on the road? Have you been working on anything recently?
Arnold: We do find some time to write on tour as much as possible. We’ve not been writing much during this tour due to a very busy schedule.
3DD performed in Dubai a few years ago. Anything you remember of that experience? What can we expect from your next visit here? What’s on the set list these days?
Arnold: We did perform in Dubai a few years back. It was a wonderful experience. I think that one thing that blew me away is the fact that you have a ski slope......Inside! I enjoyed just walking around and looking at the architecture. You guys can expect a fun show. We have a great time on stage. The set list right now includes many of the songs on our new greatest hits record including the three new songs which I really enjoy singing.
What’s the state of rock music right now?
Henderson: Things happen. I think that rock ’n’ roll is always going to have a core audience of people that like it for the style and not for any other reason. It’s happened before, it happened in the ’80s before all the metal bands, in the US at least, with disco and a new style of music emerging.
That’s what’s happening right now, you’ve got dubstep and you’ve got to let that play out and see what they turn into. Rock ‘n’ roll is probably always going to hang around – just like jazz, it’s always going to be there. Have no fear.
Matt Roberts left the band due to health reasons. How’s he doing?
Arnold: I’ve not had the chance to talk to Matt recently but I believe he is doing well.